Every time anything is announced in Scottish football there’s an unhealthy amount of moaning to go along with it, and the post-split fixtures for the Ladbrokes Premiership are no exception.
Usually it’s the SPFL which bares the brunt of fans’ displeasure. However, in this instance, it would appear that supporters are most unhappy with the TV companies BT and Sky Sports.
Here are the six most popular gripes to have done the rounds this afternoon...
Too many Celtic TV games
Despite clinching the league title already, Celtic will be live on the tele four times after the split. The Old Firm clash can hardly be argued with, while their title celebration party was always likely to get an airing, especially when they’re chasing an unbeaten season. But why on earth is their midweek trip to Partick Thistle, the penultimate fixture of the campaign, to be shown on TV? It is undoubtedly the least appealing fixture for the neutral fan from that midweek round of fixtures.
No coverage of relegation battle on the final day
Last year the final round of fixtures in the relegation group were scheduled for an early kick-off, safe in the knowledge that if the TV broadcast needed to be moved to cover the relegation decider then it could be done with little fuss. On this occasion, the decision to schedule every single game at 3pm on the final Saturday would indicate that, regardless of circumstance, there will be no coverage of the relegation battle. Either that or they’re going to completely alienate fans by attempting to move every game at the last minute.
Aberdeen to visit Rangers on a midweek (and it’s not live)
At present, Aberdeen fans are comforting themselves with the knowledge their final match with Rangers is likely to be a dead rubber - which, for the neutral, is a legitimate gripe in itself. Why not have it earlier?
Despite Sunday’s defeat, Aberdeen remain nine points ahead with a vastly superior goal difference, so Rangers are going to have to do some significant bridging between now and then to make this relevant in the battle for second place.
However, every Rangers v Aberdeen match is worth a watch, and the combination of kick-off time, travel and no live-TV coverage means very few Dons’ fans will get to see it.
The fact that it comes on the same midweek card as Partick Thistle v Celtic makes it particularly galling.
Hearts seeing Celtic lift title
Having watched Celtic secure the title against their side, insult will now be added to injury for Hearts fans, who’ve had to endure a pretty disappointing season as it is. The Jambos have been scheduled to face the champions on their own turf on the final day, which means they’ll get to see their opponents lift the league trophy. It’s hard to imagine many Jambos making the trip through for that one.
Ross County’s game imbalance
It seems like every season there is one unlucky team who receive more away fixtures than home ones. This time, that unlucky side is Ross County, which is doubly unfortunate because they are locked in a relegation dogfight.
Furthermore, neither of the two home games they do have, Hamilton and Inverness CT, take place on a Saturday, which could have a negative impact on crowds.
County currently sit three points above the relegation play-off spot, and seven points ahead of rivals Inverness CT, who are currently bottom.